7 Ways to Improve Your Online Security

Good online security habits are no joke. Every day there are data breaches of major financial institutions and retailers. Every app you download and most of the sites you visit initiate a series of online tracking of your activity and your data. If you think you are protected, you probably are not. However, there are some pretty easy steps you can take to improve your privacy and security online.  

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Posted in Business IT, Security, Software Updates

Still Using Windows 7? Now’s the Time to Update to Windows 10!

Windows 7 is predicted to be running on hundreds of millions of computers, but after January 14, 2020, Windows 7 users will no longer have any technical support, software updates, security updates, or fixes, making any user of Windows versions other than Windows 10 very vulnerable to online hackers and other threats.

For a smooth transition – NOW is the time to upgrade to Windows 10!

It’s hard to believe Windows 7 was launched 10 years ago in 2009! Many of us are just getting used to it, and consider it a “modern operating system”, but that won’t be the case for very much longer. While you can pay Microsoft for extended support for Windows 7 until 2023 thanks to the “Extended Security Updates program”, the cost is high and you will still be left in the dust where a current OS is concerned, so you might as well make the necessary change now.

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Posted in Business IT, Cloud Services, IT Services, Managed IT Services, Security, Software Updates

Why Your Business Needs Managed IT Services

Even the smallest of businesses run on a computer network – desktop computers in the office, tablets and mobile devices in the field, and essential business applications running off cloud services. These business tools are depended on every day to run the business, track important data, and properly serve our customers, yet information security continues to be an afterthought for many businesses. When it comes to our computers, we prefer a “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach. But just like brushing your teeth daily goes a long way to preventing much more serious issues, maintaining your computer equipment and applications right along can effectively prevent much more damaging problems down the road. Problems that would otherwise bring your business to a halt, and cost you a lot of money, can be avoided by adding the fairly simple step of ongoing IT network maintenance. But who has time?! And what if you don’t have the cashflow to hire an IT manager? Fortunately, there is a cost-effective approach – Managed IT Services.

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Posted in Business IT, IT Services, Managed IT Services, Security, System Backup

Software Subscriptions: Nice Convenience or Nasty Swindle?

Purple subscribe button

This curated blog post was inspired by, “The Worst-Kept Secret About QuickBooks Online” by Gene Marks, from Forbes ‘Quicker Better Tech’.

How we purchase and use  software has completely changed since the days of going out and purchasing a shrink-wrapped box with a DVD in it. Most of us can’t even remember doing that! Now we simply order and download our software online, directly from the company. But wait, enter the latest in software application convenience – monthly subscription services.

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Posted in Business IT, Cloud Services, IT Services

Are Cloud Services Right for Your Business?

Technology cloud showing all things connected

As companies run out of storage space for their ever-growing company data, more and more are considering a move to “The Cloud” as a good option versus investing in new data storage hardware. Companies depend heavily on their ‘data centers’ to store, organize, process and disseminate large amounts of data. This component of a business is essentially the brain of your company, so pretty important stuff!

‘The Cloud’ or cloud computing makes storage and computing power available on demand, and is a term generally used to describe data centers available to many users over the Internet. Space in these data centers is reserved for exclusive use by customers who pay for this virtual storage space. In other words, you are renting space for your data to live.

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Posted in Business IT, Cloud Services, IT Services

Computer Networks Require Constant Monitoring

Graphic of how networks are connected

Networks have evolved dramatically. Gone are the days of a few devices, all in one building, connected via a series of wires and cords. Today’s networks are very complex, designed to accommodate numerous devices, operating from differing platforms and geographic locations, demanding high speed and dependable access in every moment.

One thing remains consistent when we talk about business computer networks – the need for monitoring. Consistent and ongoing monitoring allows network managers to know what is going on in the network in any given minute, the state of any of the various devices and access points, and ensure that everyone’s access and data are secure.

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Posted in Business IT, Cloud Services, Computer Networks, IT Services, Managed IT Services, Wireless Networks

Wireless Networks: The Basics of a Good WiFi Network

WiFi Graphic

A business’ WiFi network is essential to ensure you can be responsive in today’s digital world. Employees require wireless options while traveling or working off-site, the layout of your physical plant may require wireless for online access, and your guests or customers may need WiFi to interact effectively with you. Your customers may even require WiFi as part of the services amenities you offer in the case of a hospitality business. Reliable WiFi has become a very important part of both business operations, and customer satisfaction. With many business computer components operating via a wireless network, there are several factors to consider as part of a business infrastructure to offer dependable and secure wireless access to your users.

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Posted in Business IT, Security, Wireless Networks

The ONE Thing You Need to Do to Stop Hackers

Laptop Email

Recently, I’ve had three clients who have had their email hacked, and, consequently, their personal information compromised. Even with iron-clad passwords and good security firewalls and server protection, our emails are at risk every day. One mistaken click and a hacker has access to your email – giving them access to any and all the financial and personal information you have online.

“Not Me!” you’re saying, “I know better than to click on suspicious emails!”

Most people think they know better. However, each of the hacking instances mentioned above were scam emails sent to recipients by a familiar company account that my client does business with. The hackers had managed to create emails that looked and sounded completely authentic. In one case, it was a pdf file of an updated invoice from a known associate – that seems legitimate, right? Unfortunately, the attached file had Malware attached to it, and once opened, the hacker had complete access to the email account. This in turn, allowed them access to every account associated with that email. Think about all the accounts you access using your email – your bank accounts, credit cards, shopping accounts, health and business vendors…the list is endless.

Fortunately, there is ONE simple step you can take to prevent account hacking.

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Posted in Business IT, Email, Security

Moving Your Business? Don’t Forget Your Virtual Business Needs!

Women in new work space

Anyone who has moved offices knows it’s a challenging project! Good preparation and organization is key, along with finding the right people to help you and being realistic about the time and energy it will require. When we move our physical business space, it’s very important to include a well thought out plan for moving our virtual business as well. The downtime involved in a moving a business is complicated by the need to keep computer systems operational and data accessible. Just as you wouldn’t leave your key piece of manufacturing equipment or top salesperson behind in your move, you mustn’t forget about your key business partner – your technology.

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Posted in IT Services, Security, System Backup

Back to School – a Lesson in Cybersecurity 101

Image of people working at coffee shop

It’s hard to believe that it is back to school season! This means more devices, new accounts, and increased screen time for our young learners. Whether your kids are headed to grade school, college, or maybe you could just use a cybersecurity refresher course – we’re here to help!

Most everyone can use a refresher course in online security!

While cybersecurity is never anyone’s favorite subject, from elementary school activities through college educational requirements, devices and online resources are used on a daily basis. It is more important than ever that students are protected in their digital lives.

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Posted in Security